Monday, December 28, 2009

Out with the Old, In with the NEW!

It's been incredible the last 3 months. Hard to believe it's been since October since I've blogged. How time flies when you're having fun!! Guess it's time to bring everyone up to date on the latest news. It's been awhile in coming, but I've decided to close my Artfire shop. A bit misty eyed about that but I know it's for the best. I was picked up by a new shop in mid October that is keeping me very busy. Add to that I was asked to teach a 4th class for the tech, the other shops have been nuts w/orders, custom orders are piled up, it's been nuts at best so something has to go. AF has been fun, but since it generates the least of my got the axe. :( I wish everyone involved with Artfire great and continued success!

I'm looking forward to the coming year. It's going to be busy and insane but since I'm still doing what I love, it's going to be good. I feel it in my bones!! The family continues to keep me on my toes. Chloe is a doll baby and her verbal skills have just exploded! She never ceases to amaze me with how smart she is. She's been a hoot w/the Christmas decorations this year. She'll get close to the Christmas tree, puts her finger close to her face, points at you and says, "No Touchin'!" with a very serious look on her face. Then grabs an ornament (thank goodness they're all plastic this year!) and says, "Uh-oh!" Those darn ornaments just seem to jump out and land right in her hand! LOL Too funny! She loves this season as much as I do. It's so much fun to watch her and view this glorious holiday thru her eyes. She loves the nativity set that I have on a low table. Almost too much. She insists that one of the wise men is Grandpa and is constantly rearranging them. Everyone is crowded around Baby Jesus! Although currently, Baby Jesus, the shepherds, sheep, and the cow have gone MIA. Not to worry, I found them. They are having a private party behind the recliner, all lined up on the floor. If I wasn't so old, I'd get them back where they belong but since she's little, I'll make her crawl back there and put them back in the creche. My life would certainly be empty without this little one around.

I hope you're lucky enough to have a little one in your life. Take some time, watch them experience something new and exciting. Even if you don't have a little one of your own, it's fun to people watch a young family, if for just a few moments. Makes one look at life in a whole new way. It refreshes the soul to watch a young one experience a new taste or sound or sight. Somehow it changes how I look at those little moments that happen on a daily basis and no longer do I take them for granted. I highly recommend it. ;)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Chloe!

It's my granddaughter's 2nd birthday today so I'm skipping my usual Thursday blog and celebrating the entire day! I love being a granny! :) :) :)

How much she has changed!

Enjoy your days, hug your babies whether they're 2 or 20!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Say Cheese!

It's been a crazy week here! I've taken over 600 pictures and have spent the last several days on my butt editing, pricing, tagging, and getting things ready for Christmas shoppers. Yikes, I am so glad that this batch is done! There's more to come though! I have another load of mittens ready for the kiln and more need to be cut. I almost forgot to make more snowmen and penguins so I need to start a list. :) I'd be lost w/o my To Do Lists! I should probably start that now while I'm thinking of it or I'll probably forget again. I think my theme song should be "If I Only Had A Brain". :)

I can't wait to get back to cutting glass! My tail bone is screaming in pain from sitting so much. I need to get back on my feet and give my poor butt a break. LOL TMI? Sorry!! But seriously, I hate sitting!

All in all, life is good. May not all be good news, but the attitude is great and that's pretty much what determines whether life for me is good or bad. I did something I've never done before. I quit. I quit everything. I am sure I disappointed several people but ya know how it is when everyone has to have a piece of you? Will you chair this committee? Will you help me with this? Can you do that for me? We need someone to raise $800 to send a kid to're in charge of collecting the $$.... Being the ding-dong that I am, the first word out of my mouth is ,"Yes!" Well, I finally realized the importance of putting myself, my family, and my job first. Everything was suffering cuz everyone had more pieces of me than I did. So I quit. It is actually quite liberating! I feel like I finally have a handle on life again and it feels great. I highly suggest if that is how you're feeling, you need to quit some things in your life. If we don't take care of ourselves, we can't take care of anyone else. So I'm turning over a new leaf. I'm taking time off from work, enjoying my family, not working 18 hours a day anymore. (ok, I'm trying not to work 18 hours a day.....roll eyes here!) I took Saturday off and my granddaughter Chloe and I went to the parade here in town for Horse & Buggy Days. Normally I work the Lost Arts thing for H&B Days. Not this year! Chloe is 2 years old and growing up so fast, nothing is more important right now than spending time with her! We had so much fun!!!!! She was so funny, the first parade she's been old enough to enjoy. Good as gold, even w/missing her nap! Eating watermellon and steak sandwiches, going to the petting zoo, and searching for balloons. We never did find one, how sad is that? Maybe it's just me, but I found it very strange that no one was selling balloons. Not to worry, the grocery store has them and now we have them too! It was one of the best days I've had in a long time. It's good to quit things. Especially when it makes room for doing the things that bring us the most joy. Chloe is my joy, there will always be time for her. :)

I'm also making time to hunt for Christmas presents. I don't think I've ever started this early! :D I'm pretty pleased with myself! LOL I know I'm going to buy too much this year but about now, I don't much care. I've found too many pretty things on Artfire this year so I won't be spending time fighting the crowds and wasting gas. I plan on doing alot of online shopping this year! I love the pieces from Clara's Clips! Just Ducky is so dang cute! But I think I need to buy the pony for Chloe, she sure loved those in the parade. :) Very pretty things!! And something that I will never make.... :( I could spend alot of $$ in Clara's shop and I just might! LOL

Another one that I discovered this week (hey, I get to take breaks from photo editing don't I?) Simply Lampwork. LMAO There is nothing simple about her beads!!!!!!!!! I know, I make lampwork beads and these are totally Divine!!!!! I can't believe her prices either. She's nuts. Nancy, you really need to raise your prices! Seriously. These are stunning. Before she raises her prices, get in her shop and buy her out. I'd rather you bought from me but I don't think I could do work like this. It's gorgeous. Lickable! I'd kill to make leaves like hers. Fan-Freakin'-Tastic!

Another very fun shop I found is Sweet Whimsy. I have to have the flamingo scrabble tile pendant! Chloe and I have a thing about flamingos. It's a daily tradition that every day she goes outside, heads to the side garden and makes the "mingos go Boing!" I have flamingos on springs and she thinks it's the funniest thing to make them wobble! Besides, I have flamingo pants that are my "party pants" and I made a bracelet and matching earrings. This pendant would be the cherry on the sundae to my "mingo outfit". :)

Not to be outdone by the flamingo...totally dig this paisley one. It's just so funky!
I think the ladybug box might have to come live here too, at least until Christmas...then I think it's going to my other granddaughter. ;)

There's alot of neat stuff out there on Artfire. It's been great fun for me to get out there, poke around, and find some really unique pieces, all handmade and original. No more "cookie cutter gifts" for this family. I'm going Handmade! :) I bet the family will be surprised that they aren't all getting my glass this year. LOL
That's about it for this week's blog. Time to get dressed, load the kiln, and hopefully have breakfast with my darling Chloe. I'm taking time off to enjoy the people and things most important to me. I hope you can do the same. Be blessed my friends!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Random Friday Thoughts & Eye Candy!

It has been the weirdest week of my life. I'm not even kidding when I write that. It's almost spooky. Not even Halloween yet. Full moon? I don't think so. Planets out of line? Possibly. Monday was a lost day. Ever have one of those? You know you had it, but ya don't know where it went. You tried to live it, you know you did, but you don't remember it. That was my Monday. No worries, Tuesday's another day, right? My Tuesday was great!! Got started on some fused glass mitten Christmas ornaments...loaded the kiln, fired the first load, worked perfect, now I gotta string 'em. (blech!) 3rd load is in the kiln firing now...2nd load, done, needs stringing yet (blech) of course, but I'll get to that this aft. Wednesday started out so perfect! Cold, but I love working when it's cold. Must be that hot flash time of my life or something (another blech), so peaceful out early in the morning, brilliant sunshine, good internet connection (rare in the shop!) and then things took a turn for the bizzare. 4 phone calls, all with freaky and/or bad news. They aren't kidding when they say, "When it rains it pours". I couldn't wait to go to bed that nite just so I could get up, have a new day, hopefully better! And I did. :) But it was also freaky in itself. How many days do I wake up only to get 5 new students, none of which are related to eachother or want the same class? Never. Or at least not until now. Wow! 5 new bodies to introduce to the wonderful world of glass art. Sweet. I bet you can almost hear me laughing...mwahahahaaahaaaaaaa! IT's gonna be FUN! Monday nite is the first class, I'm combining 2 students for stained glass. The other 3 will be in the coming weeks. Join me if you can. I teach great classes. Very laid back, chock full of info, and you can even bring a bottle of wine if you want. Just wear shoes. That's pretty much my only rule.
Ok, on with today's finds... Normally, I try to blog every Thursday. Well, as you have just read, my week has been a wee bit different so I'm a day late. I found good eye candy though and with Christmas coming up, we have to start shopping now. I think these hair bands will be a fun stocking stuffer for the young ladies on my list! They're also made from recycled goodies so I'll be saving the earth at the same time. Can't get much better than that! I really like this shop, she has some very cool earrings, hearts that are made out of some kind of wire wrapped wire I am guessing. They're fun and spunky. Right up my alley! Check it out if you can, fun stuff! She's JillsJewels on Artfire!

Since it's getting to be Halloweenie Time....for those of you that scrapbook, these are very cute! I had a hard time picking my favorite so I had to go seasonal. I may just have to take up a new hobby.... :) Syrena's Scrapbooking...way too cute, way too much fun. I don't know what she's doing to come up with all these designs, but I dig 'em all!

And then I found these....I absoluetly adore the slippers and covet the bag!! HookYarnInker is riding Artfire's Crazy Train today. I might just have to buy a ticket for this ride!!
So since I started this at 10 this morning and it's now 2....what can I say? I'm having way too much fun poking about on Artfire! LOL I better get moving on with the (blech) stringing work. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. It's Horse & Buggy Days this weekend in Weyauwega so I'm closing the shop and heading up town for the festivities tomorrow. Be well, count your blessings, and don't have any freaky days. Until Halloween, and then steal all the kids' chocolate. Send me the extras if you have any. ;)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What makes you giggle?

Ok, so I'm a bit different. Lots of things make me laugh and some are totally not appropriate to laugh about. Lately, there's been alot of stress in my life and some days it's really hard to find anything to laugh about. I live in a 3 generation household. My husband and I have welcomed our son, his g.f., and their 2 yr old daughter back home to live w/us while Boy Wonder goes back to school full time. Stressful? OMG, you're not kiddin'!!!!!!! The babe is great, a total joy, love her to pieces! The Boy? um, well let's just say he's taken procrastination to a whole new level when it comes to helping around the house. As a dad, he's wonderful. As a son, he's incredibly special. As a slob? Fan-Freakin'-Tastic!!!!!!!!!! I keep thinking...who is this kid? Who raised him? Then reality hits and I realize he's mine, I raised him, and he's not going away anytime soon. HELP ME!!!!!!!! I love him, I really do. He's my only son, and he's my youngest. He's funny as the day is long. He's just got a way of really pissing me off these days. And if he ever finds this blog, he's gonna be all over my butt for my "nasty ass remarks". Whatever Boy, shift it to the right and move along!

That being said, when I found this shirt, I knew I had to blog about it!

Ashli's Armoire on Artfire is a great shop! I poked around there this morning and found several pieces that I just adore! Everything is made with love and care and definately with a great sense of humor. With our little granddaughter living with us, the delight of having a wee one about again is so much fun. I could very easily, spoil her rotten. I can so see her wearing this little outfit this October!

Now just How Cute is this?!? I can't even imagine all the time it took to sew this up. Check out all the pictures Aubrey has of this darling Halloween outfit.

It just totally cracks me up how she turned Mickey Mouse into a jack-o-lantern (his ears are mini pumpkins, too funny!) and Minnie Mouse into a witch. Look at all those details! Fantastic Stuff!!! Her little girl is cute too, I wonder how much candy she had to bribe her with to get her to pose for the pictures? (I bet it wasn't as much as I'll need to bribe Boy to pick up the toys in the living room so *someone* can vacuum.....sigh...)

Another great find today is Myrna Migala. Very interesting watercolors! The first minute I saw her shop, I knew I was going to like her. She has cat and snowman paintings! :) 2 of my favorite things.

I love the personalities that Myrna has given her subjects. You look at the faces and really want to know what the kitties are thinking, or what the snowmen are whispering about. There's alot of talent here and it shows in her paintings. Her sky is awesome in the snowman painting. The shadowing on her snowmen...very cool. I haven't always liked watercolors, guess I'm just goofy that way. But these have me rethinking my orginial thoughts! I have a snowman collection (as well as a kitty collection) and I can see these 2 pieces as great additions to my collections. Myrna, job well done! I hope everyone has a chance to check out her shop!

She's riding Artfire's Crazy Train today! Give her link a click and have fun wandering about her shop, it's a wonderful experience and if you're like me, you may just find a piece or 2 to add to your collection!

Poking about all the different places on the net, I do find reasons to smile about, and yes, even laugh. I will make it a point to adjust my attitude today and count my blessings. I know it is a good thing we're doing for Boy and his little family, giving them a chance at a better life. It's not always easy living with them, but I'm pretty sure it's not always easy for them to live with me. So Boy, if you find this blog, I hope you read all the way to the end. I do love you and we will all make it thru this stressful time. Now, go pick up the toys and vacuum the living room. Do the sitting room while you're at it. LOL

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What a week it's been!

So many things going on in my life these days. I'm sure it's true for everyone. School is back in session, or will be soon. I don't miss the days when I sent my little ones off. As much as we all looked forward to getting the kids back in school, those first few days were always very bittersweet for me. Our house has always been the one all the neighborhood kids would flock to on a daily basis so we usually had anywhere from 3-10 extra kids here all day long. We had the "Barbie parphanalia" (as my mother would put it!) on the porch, hotwheels in the sandbox along with army men and tonka trucks. Water balloon fights w/a big wet mess in the bathroom. Kids running thru the sprinkler, leaving wet towels everywhere! Those were replaced with video games and mtv as the kids got older. Popsicles were always a hit, no matter what the age of the players. By the beginning of August, I was more than ready for the kids to go back to school. Not so much my kids, but I was ready for the extra kids to go! The first few days of school were always too quiet. Made me wonder what I would do when my kids had grown, moved on with their lives, married, with families of their own. Tears were always just under the surface!

Now here we are, the 3 oldest off on their own. Dan's in CA, Ben lives in Madison with his wife and daughter, Kate moved to MD. Only Tim is at home now, going on to college but the house is still full with his little women, Juila and Chloe. I love them both so much, they are a big part of my life! I know the day will come when he's done w/school and the little family will move on, leaving us with a big empty house. There are days when I can't wait for that, but I know that day will be bittersweet as well. I'll be happy to see them grown, matured, thru school, settled in their new home with jobs and "school daze" of their own as they send little Chloe off. It will be nice for us to have the house to ourselves again, but I have a feeling it will be way too quiet for me!

I'll still have my work, I'll probably always have my work. It is a big part of who I am. And there is never enough time to get it all done. This has been a crazy week. Lots of new fans on Facebook, setting up a biz page for the local art gallery, getting all the bugs worked out, making new lampwork beads, photos, and listings on Artfire, and keeping up with the forums. I seriously need some better time management! But good things are happening too!

I was invited to join the Fun Cute & Whimsical Guild at Artfire! Wow. First off it was neat to be invited, then accepted into such an ecclectic group of very talented artists! You can check out their work here; It's just chock full of all the best stuff! This piece just cracks me up!

You can find it here;
Besides myself, there were 4 other new Artfire shops added to the guild. Check them out!
Antisparkle's shop is just too crazy! I love her sense of humor!
You know that octopus necklace you've been searching for? Well you can find it here in Patsdesign Artisan Studio!!
Remember paperdolls? Oh man! I loved those things when I was little!!!! Shop66 carries them along with other great vintage inspired pieces. I could spend alot of time poking about in this shop!
If you're having a baby, or know someone that is, be sure to check out Blueberryjunkie's Artfire Shop. I adore her handmade goods! I may have missed out on getting one of her teething blankets for my babies, but you don't have to!
I am going to have alot of fun as I check out all the great shops that are members of the Fun Cute & Whimsical Guild on Artfire. I'll probably be grabbing my credit card too! lol This is going to be too much fun!
It's been a busy week...YIKES! And now it's time to work on some custom orders due this weekend. Time to get dressed, grab another cup of coffee and hit the shop. Be blessed today my friends, in all you do. :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Do you like coffee?

I do! One of my favorite things to do when I have the time is to curl up w/a big cup (and yes, my "cup" holds a half a pot!!) of coffee, enjoying the sounds of our small community mingled with the birds, distant traffic from the freeway, frogs and crickets while I wait for the rest of the day to unfold before me. It's the perfect time for me to count my blessings, and there are many. Even on days such as this when I feel invisible to the world around me. Time to make the coffee and concentrate on God's love for me. I hope you can feel it too.

IHOP Flavored Coffees

Cafe Bavarian Mint
1/4 C powdered creamer
1/3 C Sugar
1/4 C Instant Coffee
2 T cocoa
2 hard candy peppermints

Process in blender on liquify until well blended. Store in air tight container

IHOP Cafe Cappuccino
1/4 C Powdered Creamer
1/3C Sugar
1/4 C Instant Coffee
1 Orange flavored piece of hard candy

Process in blender on liquify until blended. Store in air tight container.

Cafe Swiss Mocha
1/4 C Powdered Creamer
1/3 C sugar
1/4 C Instant coffee
2 T cocoa

Process in blender on liquify until blended. Store in air tight container.

Cafe Viennese
1/4 C Powdered Creamer
1/3 C Sugar
1/4 C Instant coffee
1/2 teasp Cinnamon

Process in blender on liquify until blended. Store in air tight container.

What would go good w/a great cup of coffee? Perhaps some Cinnabon Rolls. ;)
1/2 cup warm water
2 packages dry yeast
2 T sugar
3 1/2 oz pkg. vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup margarine, melted
2 eggs
1 teasp salt
6 cups flour

Combine water, yeast and sugar. Stir til dissolved, set aside.
In a large bowl, add pudding mix, prepared according to directions.
Add margarine, eggs, and salt, mix well.
Add yeast mixture and blend.
Gradually add flour, knead until smooth.
Place in greased bowl, let rise til doubled, punch down and let rise again.
On floured board, roll out to approximately 34" x 21". Spread w/1 cup soft butter.
In a bowl, mix 2 cups brown sugar and 4 teaspoons of cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top of the buttered dough.
Roll up very tightly, cut with a knife every 2".
Place on lightly greased cookie sheet, 2" apart.
Lightly press down on each roll, cover and let rise til double.
Bake at 350 degrees, 15-20 minutes, remove when they start to turn golden. Do Not Over Bake!

Frost w/Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup margarine
1 teasp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tbl milk

Mix all ingredients, mix until smooth.

Treat yourself today. You deserve it. Be well and be blessed my friends!